Fashion design first became known in the 1800s when designers would create outfits for elite Europeans to wear. It wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century that American designers started to make their presence known. Today, the fashion industry is booming.
Emily Costa, founder and designer of Rebel Redefined, talks about her career in the fashion industry.
Fashion has always been a huge interest of mine, and it’s hard to think of a time when it wasn’t! When I was younger, I found a real joy in dressing up and experimenting with my own individual style. For me, there was always something very unique and special in the ability to convey who I was as a person through my style.
Growing up, I always had an entrepreneurial spirit that really developed and took over while I was in high school. During those years, I dedicated myself to learning as much as I could about the fashion industry as a whole. I was consistently inspired by the idea of owning my own brand.
Two things really prepared me for this venture; one was attending Teen Vogue’s Fashion University in New York City in 2011 for the first time at age 16. The other was taking a pre-college intensive course at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City on how to start and manage a small business. I used the knowledge I learned from successful designers like Michael Kors and Alexander Wang that spoke at Teen Vogue’s Fashion U and the lessons I learned at FIT that summer and applied them to make my vision come to life.
I was 17 when I launched my brand Rebel Redefined. That same year, my brand was sold on NYLON magazines shop, featured in many articles, and worn by celebrities. I think my brand gained popularity so fast because it came from an authentic vision. People from all over the world really connected with the concept of the brand, which has always been fun, edgy, and a testament to being yourself.
If you’d like to learn more about the fashion industry, purchase our book, So You Want to be a Fashion Designer!